Atholton senior Jordan Oates talks about the Raiders' 64-61 overtime win over River Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
At the end of a back-and-forth game filled with momentum swings, Atholton turned to its senior leader to carry them to the finish line.
Jordan Oates scored six of the Raiders’ seven points in overtime Wednesday night, giving him 17 points to go along with 21 rebounds on the game and providing his team the boost it needed to earn a 64-61 road victory over River Hill.
“We have a brand new team, but I can already notice that we fight back and we don’t give up,” Oates said. “We went down at some points [tonight], but we stayed together and didn’t start arguing. [River Hill] played really hard, but we fought back even harder.”
Atholton (2-0, 3-0) trailed by as many as eight points midway through the fourth quarter, but rallied to force the extra period behind a mix of clutch foul shooting and lockdown defense. Oates, Jabari Rankin (13 points), Raymond Brown (11) and Ian Swartz (7) all played key roles in the late push, which carried right over into overtime.
River Hill, which was led by the backcourt duo of Jackson Graves (17 points) and Nick Marshall (14), had one final chance to extend things in the waning seconds of overtime but the Hawks’ length-of-the-court was intercepted and time expired.
“There were so many new faces on that floor tonight, for both teams really, so for us to come on the road in a tough environment and find a way to get a win like that is huge,” Atholton coach Jared Albert said. “I can’t be more proud of the guys tonight for their mental toughness and perseverance. These are never easy games between us and River Hill.”
For River Hill (0-2, 0-2), the loss marks the second straight overtime defeat for the team to start the season. Despite the result, however, River Hill coach Matt Graves said he saw real growth from his team.
“We’re still in the process of finding our best combinations on the floor both offensively and defensively, but we definitely took a step forward tonight,” he said. “Even though we lost in overtime, we learned a lot about ourselves and we responded well on a big stage. There’s nothing right now that I would have changed. Atholton simply made a few more plays when it mattered at the end.”
The game was a back-and-forth affair from the very beginning. River Hill went up by a couple in the first few minutes and then Atholton responded with a 10-0 run that included the first of three 3-pointers on the night from Deven Daniel to stake the Raiders to their largest lead of the game of eight points.
River Hill cut that deficit to two, 30-28, at the half. The Hawks then put together an extended 15-3 run between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to take its largest lead of the contest at 52-44 with 4:55 remaining in regulation.
Levi Lawal (11 points) and Ethan Smith (11) sparked things on the interior for the Hawks, while Graves and Marshall ran the show from the perimeter. Graves beat the buzzer with a three to close the third quarter and Marshall sank three of four technical foul shots in the fourth quarter to highlight the push into the lead.
“It really came down to us simply stringing a couple good possessions together and you could see the confidence growing during that run,” Matt Graves said.
But as quickly as River Hill had grabbed the momentum, Atholton began working to snatch it right back. Swartz was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to start the comeback.
Later, with a minute left and the Raiders having pulled to within one possession of the lead, Brown hit a contested 3-pointer with just one second left on the shot clock that ultimately helped extend the game.
“We talked every timeout about how it wasn’t going to happen in one play, we had to grind some possessions out and be patient,” Albert said. “For that, I was really pleased to see us move the ball around, get good shots and get ourselves to the foul line. We never panicked and for a young team that’s big.”
With time ticking down in regulation and the Lions trailing by one, Christian Rodgers banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired to lift Howard to the two-point victory and send the home crowd spilling onto the floor in celebration.
Rodgers (7 points) finished as one of five Lions to make a shot from beyond the arc in the game, joined by Kyle Colbert (16 points), Cooper Haberern (15), Darrin Harris (12) and Will Simmons (5). Justin Hendricks also had a solid game with six points.
Oakland Mills was led by DJ Hopkins’ 22 points (four 3-pointers) in the loss, the team’s second straight by one possession to open the year.
Jeong Hwang (15 points), Joey Sedlacko (11) and Matt Shickner (11) all scored in double figures as the Eagles cruised past the Vikings. Quran Briggs scored a game-high 20 points to lead Mt. Hebron in the loss.
C (1-1, 1-1): Jeong Hwang 15, Joey Sedlacko 11, Matt Shickner 11, Bryson Baker 8, Shane Taylor 8, Liam Lovering 7, Brandon Bonner 2, Tim Woerner 2, Sean Lee 2.
MH (0-2, 1-3): Quran Briggs 20, Justin Cargiulo 8, Justin Michelotti 6, Chris Lewis 5, Evan Ichrist 4, Will Bates 4.
Half: 28-19 C.
Reservoir 69, Hammond 51
The Gators had four players scoring in double figures and built a 60-41 lead by the end of the third quarter en route to the team’s second straight win by double digits to open the season.
Re (2-0, 2-0): Bobby Hill 19, Aria Ameli 15, Kaleb Glasper 12, Jaylen Manning 11, Rashod Ballard 6, Elijah Foulks 4, Jason Ha 2.
Ha (1-1, 2-2): Ian Addison 15, TJ King 12, David Aodu 11, R. Moore 6, C. Bennett 3, Khaleb Mair 2, Eddy Alexandre 2.
Half: 39-25 Re.
Marriotts Ridge 64, Long Reach 44
John Miller continued his hot scoring pace to start the season, pouring in a career-high 30 points to lead the Mustangs to their third straight victory overall this winter. Kaden Bryan (13 points) and Austin Avent (10) also had strong offensive performances.
Carey Olivis and Da’Vaun Yarbough scored 11 points apiece to lead Long Reach in the loss.
MR (2-0, 3-0): Miller 30, Bryan 13, Avent 10, Page 6, Tran 3, Smith 2, Groman 2.
LR (0-2, 0-2): Olivis 11, Yarbough 11, Raymond 9, Zaky 4, Lado 3, Addo 2, Malloy 2, Oduro-Dompreh 2.
Half: 31-20 MR.
Wilde Lake 46, Glenelg 37
After waiting nearly a week longer than the rest of the county to play its first game, Wilde Lake started on the right foot with the nine-point victory. Brince Shelton led the way with 17 points, while Kwaku Boampong (10 points) and Marcus Mitchell (10) joined him in double figures.
Nate Curtis was the leading scorer for Glenelg with 11 points
Lance Richards scored a game-high 16 points and he was joined in double figures by teammates Jax Felder (15) and Jordan Praylow (12), as the Yellowjackets moved above .500 overall with the MIAA B Conference victory on the road.